As opposition flayed the police lathi-charge against outstation students at National Institute of Technology (NIT) campus in Srinagar, a two-member team from the HRD ministry held consultations with NIT officials over the hullabaloo.
Problems began in NIT last week when outstation students celebrated India’s win over Pakistan in the T20 World Cup. As a revenge, the local students (Kashmiris) celebrated and raised anti-India slogans on 1 April when India lost to West Indies in the semis and burst firecrackers.
Late that night, the locals (Kashmiri students) attacked our rooms and damaged the windowpanes leaving us freezing in intense cold, said a student.
The non-Kashmiri students said some of the NIT officials should be shifted and action be taken against them for indulging in “anti-national” activity. They said that they should be allowed to hoist the Indian tricolour in the campus.
Demanding that NIT be shifted to Jammu, the students asked if a temple could be built inside the campus.
The students said the NIT administration and J&K police beat them with lathis a day earlier asking them to move out of the Valley and the campus. “We will boycott classes until our demands are met. Any discussion will take place only in New Delhi. We will not discuss anything in the campus even HRD minister,” the students said in a letter to the HRD Ministry.
HRD minister Smriti Irani, who is in Surat, said she had spoken to J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti who assured her that “no injustice will be done to any of them”.
Mufti, Irani said, had ordered a departmental inquiry into the incident. “We have sent a HRD team to Srinagar. They are on the campus and have spoken to around 500 students,” she said.
The HRD team was told by the non-Valley students that “we are not here to have any discussion with you, we are not here to give you reasons… we will continue the protest until this college is shifted from here.”
State education minister Naeem Akhtar said outstation students are “like our own children” and they will be accorded proper security.